The Story Chapter 20 - Week beginning 8 May 2023

Chapter 20: The Queen of Beauty and Courage

Timeless Truth: By showing faith, God can change the hearts of rulers.

Bible Basis: Esther 2:10-12, 16-18, 3:1-12, 5:1-7, 7:1-6

Key Verse: “Show me your favor. . . . Please spare my people. That’s my appeal to you” (Esther 7:3).

Resource: The Story: Teen Edition, The Story for Kids/Children/Little Ones: Chapter 20

Parent Tips:

Use the Table Talk questions to start a discussion around the dinner table during the week. The Living Faith activity encourages your family to make some foods popular in Persia. The Extra Mile highlights a song called “Such a Time As This.”

Get the Point:

Preschool: Esther gets her heart ready for a hard job. God helps me when it’s hard.

Elementary: Esther gets her heart ready for a hard job. God helps me when it’s hard.

Middle School: God elevated Esther “for such a time as this.” In the same way, I need to be sensitive to God’s plan for me.

High School: God elevated Esther “for such a time as this.” In the same way, I need to be sensitive to God’s plan for me.

Table Talk


- What do you think Esther made for the big dinner with King Xerxes and Haman?

- What’s your favorite food?

- Queen Esther was King Xerxes favorite, but she took a risk by speaking to the king without being invited. Did she just barge in and demand to be heard? Why not?

- By being respectful and humble, the king granted Esther’s wish. Tell of a time where respect and humility helped you.

- Have you heard the saying, “Attitude is everything”? How would you describe Esther’s attitude?

- If you were in Esther’s place, what would you have asked the king to do?

Middle/High School

- Esther kept it a secret from King Xerxes that she was Jewish. Do you think it was good for her to keep that secret?

- When is it okay to keep secrets? When is keeping secrets a bad idea?

- At first Mordecai encouraged Esther not tell anybody she was Jewish, then he told her to go before the king and beg for mercy for her people. Have you ever had a family member tell you to do something for God?

- Esther prepared for her meeting with the king by fasting and encouraging others to fast with her. What does it say about Esther that she went to God with her request first?

- Have you ever fasted?

- Talk about a time when you went to God in earnest prayer before making a decision. What happened?

Living Faith

Persian kings were famous for the lavish banquets. So when Esther invited King Xerxes to a “big dinner” (Esther 5:8), the pressure was on. Make a big Persian dinner in honor of Queen Esther, although you may not want to break out the solid-gold dinnerware. During the Achaemenid empire, Persian kings could get nearly any food they wanted. Fruit was very common, especially cantaloupe. A spinach salad may be an authentic touch for your meal. Fish was also popular.

Have fun as a family planning out the menu early in the week. Set aside one night where everybody can be together to prepare the big dinner. Try something new. Use an exotic spice. As everybody’s working together or when everyone sits down, you can go through some of the “Table Talk” questions. Queen Esther’s story is truly remarkable, and Esther is only one of two books in the Bible named for a woman.

For dessert, your family may want to bake Hamantaschen (ha-man-tosh-en), a traditional Jewish cookie made for Purim (see Esther 9:18-32), a celebration that honors Esther and Mordecai for saving the Jewish people from extermination. These triangular cookies look a little funny, and the name Hamantaschen means "Haman's ears." But they’re fun to make and taste delicious. Look in a cookbook or go online and search for Hamantaschen.

Extra Mile

One of the most well-known verses from this chapter of The Story comes when Mordecai tells Esther that God may have raised her to be queen “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14).

Go to YouTube and watch the 4:16 video called “Mandisa: “Born For This (ESTHER)” – Official Lyric Video.”

Have a piece of paper and pencil ready as you listen to the song and watch the lyrics. Ask family members write down phrases that have special meaning to them. When the song is over, give family members the chance to explain why they chose their specific line from the song. Also ask:

- How does this song relate to Queen Esther’s story?

- How is this song meaningful in your life and in your relationship with God?

- What will you do to “stand apart from the crowd”?


The Story Chapter 15

Chapter 15: God’s Messengers

Timeless Truth: God is more powerful than any other god.

Bible Basis: 1 Kings 17:1-6, 18:1-39, 19:3-18, 2 Kings 2:1-15, Amos 3:1-11, 4:2-10, 5:14-15, 9:8

Key Verse: [Elijah said] “I serve the Lord. He is the God of Israel” (1 Kings 17:1).

Resource: The Story: Teen Edition, The Story for Kids/Children/Little Ones: Chapter 15

Parent Tips:

Use the Table Talk questions to start a discussion around the dinner table during the week. The Living Faith activity lets your family make rain and thank God for his provision. The Extra Mile encourages your family to get out and run—just like Elijah did.

Get the Point:

Preschool: God encouraged Elijah in hard times. God encourages me.

Elementary: God encouraged Elijah in hard times. God encourages me.

Middle School: God raises up mighty people—such as Elijah and Elisha—in hard times to point people to him.

High School: God raises up mighty people—such as Elijah and Elisha—in hard times to point people to him.

Table Talk


• Elisha was an awesome man of God. He did many miracles, including making the blind see and raising a child from the dead. In 2 Kings 2:23-24, it tells of a time that some young people made fun of Elisha’s bald head. Elisha called down a curse on them, and two bears came out of the woods and attacked 42 of the young fellows. What do you think is the main point of this story?

• Has anybody ever made fun of you?

• What did you do?

• How do you think God would want you to act when other kids make fun of you?

• Is it ever a good idea to make fun of people?

Middle/High School

• Elijah often felt alone—maybe because Ahab and Jezebel killed all of God’s other prophets and birds fed him when he lived alone in a valley. Have you ever felt alone in your stand for God?

• Have you ever prayed for God to show his mighty power, like Elijah did? What was the result?

• There are a lot of temptations that pull teens and tweens away from God—drinking, drugs, rebellious music, sex—what area is the biggest problem at your school or among your friends?

• What area would you like to make a difference in? Pray to ask God to help you make a difference in your world in one of these areas. Then find teachers, parents and adults who can help you.

Living Faith

When Ahab became king of Israel, he did more evil things than any of the kings who had ruled before him. God sent Elijah to tell Ahab that he was judging the land because of the king’s poor choices. Elijah told Ahab that the living Lord is the God of Israel and to prove it “there won’t be any dew or rain on the whole land” (1 Kings 17:1). For three years it didn’t rain.

Have your family make it rain by gathering a clean glass jar with a metal top and ice cubes. Begin this activity by filling the jar half-full with super hot tap water. Put the lid upside-down on top to trap the heat. Place several ice cubes in the lid. In about 15 minutes, raindrops will start to splash inside the jar.

As it starts to rain, ask these questions:

• What would the biggest problems be if it didn’t rain for three years?

• What was God’s point in stopping the rain?

• What are some ways mentioned earlier in The Story where God showed his power in mighty ways?

• Rain is one way that God provides for our needs. What are some other ways that God provides for us?

• Have family members talk specifically about an area of their lives where they’re especially grateful of God’s provision.

At the end of the draught, Elijah had a showdown against the 850 prophets who worshiped false gods. He challenged the false prophets to pray and have their god send fire down to earth. The false prophets tried and tried, but nothing happened. Elijah had the altar doused with water three times. Elijah prayed and God sent fire from heaven that burned up everything—even the water! The people of Israel turned back to God and he sent rain.

Extra Mile

Do you like walking in the rain? How about singing in the rain. Elijah enjoyed running in the rain. In fact, he outran Ahab’s chariot from Mount Carmel to Jezreel—and that’s over 20 miles!

In honor of Elijah’s amazing feat mentioned in 1 Kings 18:46, go jogging as a family. Run around your neighborhood or a local park. You may even want to race each other. God gave Elijah amazing power to beat Ahab to Jezreel. You could put somebody on a bike and have him stay on the sidewalk as another family member sprints across a field. See who wins to a predetermined point.

Make an effort to get outside and exercise as a family a few times this week. It could be jogging, running, biking—anything. And it doesn’t have to be for long, even 15 minutes can be beneficial. Maybe it’ll become a habit. As you exercise, use the time to talk about what’s happening in your life and how you see God moving.


The Story Chapter 16

Chapter 16: The Beginning of the End

Timeless Truth: God’s saving power is great.

Bible Basis: Isaiah 3:1-13, 14:1-5, 49:8-9, 53:1-12

Key Verse: “When it is time to save you, I will help you. I will keep you safe” (Isaiah 49:8).

Resource: The Story: Teen Edition, The Story for Kids/Children/Little Ones: Chapter 16

Parent Tips:

Use the Table Talk questions to start a discussion around the dinner table during the week. The Living Faith activity allows your family to explore the probability of Jesus fulfilling the prophecies found in Isaiah. The Extra Mile looks at a YouTube video about Jesus’ sacrifice foretold in Isaiah 53.

Get the Point:

Preschool: God doesn’t give up on his people. God won’t give up on me.

Elementary: God doesn’t give up on his people. God won’t give up on me.

Middle School: God punishes, instructs and guides his children to help them grow more like him.

High School: God punishes, instructs and guides his children to help them grow more like him.

Table Talk


• Israel and Judah followed other gods and ignored the one true God. The sins of the people of Israel caused God to allow them to be taken to Assyria. The prophet Isaiah warned the people of Judah about what would happen if they continued their bad decisions. He told the people the truth, even though the truth was difficult. Have you ever told the truth, even though it was hard?

• Have you ever stopped a friend from making a bad decision?

• What did you say or do to change your friend’s mind?

• Why is it so important to always speak the truth?

Note: Young readers will enjoy hearing this story in the Jesus Storybook Bible on page 144.

Middle/High School

• Isaiah’s name means “God to the rescue.” What does your name mean? (Parents share with your children how you chose their name.)

• Isaiah tried to rescue the people by telling them God’s truth. What would you have to do to live up to your name?

• How does it feel when people try to change you by telling you things that you’re doing wrong?

• Is it easy to take advice? Is it easier to follow if you know it’s from God’s Word?

• What is the best way to share difficult truths with people?

Living Faith

God gave Isaiah great insight to write about the future and the coming of Jesus the Messiah. Test your ability to predict the future by playing this game as a family. All you need is a coin. Have family members pair up. If there’s an odd number of people, the person who sits out automatically wins and advances to the next round. Have one person flip and the other person call “heads” or “tails.” The winner is the one who guesses the best three-out-of-five flips correctly. Continue playing until there is one grand champion. When you’re finished, read this:

The book of Isaiah is filled with prophecies about Jesus.

• Isaiah 7:14 says Jesus will be born of a virgin.

• Isaiah 35:5-6 says when Jesus comes the blind will see and the deaf will hear.

• Isaiah 53:12 says Jesus will die with criminals.

There more than ten different prophecies recorded in Isaiah. The chances of guessing a flipped coin correctly are 50 percent. That means you have a 1 in 2 chance of being right. Mathematician Peter Stoner figured out the chances of one man in all of history fulfilling just eight prophecies. The probability is 1 in 1017, or a 1 with 17 zeros behind it. Stoner wrote that if you took 100,000,000,000,000,000 silver dollars and put them in Texas, it would cover the state two feet deep. “Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly,” Stoner says. “Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up one silver dollar and say that this is the right one. What chance would he have of getting the right one? Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man."

Jesus is truly amazing. He didn’t fulfill just eight prophecies written hundreds of years before his birth—he fulfilled nearly 50! That’s an awesome God. It didn’t happen by chance. It was all part of God’s plan.

Extra Mile

Isaiah 53 says a lot about Jesus’ sacrifice for us. Watch this 4:49 video on YouTube: “Jesus the Messiah – Via Dolorosa - Isaiah 53.” Some of the illustrations may disturb younger children. But if your children are old enough, have them watch the video as you read Isaiah 53 out loud.

The power of Isaiah’s words and the images will bring home Jesus’ sacrifice in a tangible way. God gave his only son and Jesus gave everything for us.

Ask the following questions:

· Why Jesus was willing to go through all that?

· How was Isaiah able to write these words more than 700 years before Jesus was born?


The Story Chapter 17

Chapter 17: The Kingdoms’ Fall

Timeless Truth: The Lord’s plans always come through.

Bible Basis: Jeremiah 1:4–10, 2:21–28, 5:1–2, 13:17–19; 2 Chronicles 36:11–16;

2 Kings 25:1–12; Lamentations 1:1, 2:17, 3:21–26; 5:1 and 15–21;

Ezekiel 1:1–2:7, 36:22–36

Key Verse: I say to myself, “The Lord is everything I will ever need. So I will put my hope in him” (Lamentations 3:24).

Resource: The Story: Teen Edition, The Story for Kids/Children/Little Ones: Chapter 17

Parent Tips:

Use the Table Talk questions to start a discussion around the dinner table during the week. The Living Faith activity encourages your family to have fun drawing some of God’s amazing creations. The Extra Mile looks at an all-star baseball player who rejected God, but then repented and found mercy.

Get the Point:

Preschool: God’s people suffer because of their sin, but God still loves them. His love for me will never end.

Elementary: God’s people suffer because of their sin, but God still loves them. His love for me will never end.

Middle School: God’s judgment isn’t pretty. But he also stands ready to give mercy to those who show remorse.

High School: God’s judgment isn’t pretty. But he also stands ready to give mercy to those who show remorse.

Table Talk


• Have you ever done something that you were told not to? What happened?

• God told the people in Judah and Israel many times to not worship idols. He sent prophets who warned them about what would happen. So the people turned from their wicked ways and worshiped God, right? Wrong! What did the people really do?

• Do you like it when your parents warn you about your behavior?

• Do you usually change your behavior before you get in trouble?

• God’s people got in big trouble. Do you think that was fair?

Middle/High School

• We’ve all heard the saying, “Like father, like son.” What are some ways that you’re like your parents? (Parents share about similarities with their parents.) Be sure to talk about some positive attributes and some negative.

• In this chapter of The Story, it’s like the kings tried to be the opposite of their parents. It was “like father, not like son.” It was good king, bad king, good king. . . . Why do you think that happened?

• Are there any things you’re doing to be set apart from your parents?

• Why do some people work hard at not following the positive character qualities of their parents?

• How can you work to embrace the good and reject the bad from the role models in your life?

Living Faith

God opened up the heavens and gave the prophet Ezekiel amazing visions. Gather your family around a table. Make sure to have an assortment of paper, crayons, colored pencils and other drawing utensils. Read all of Ezekiel 1 out loud. When you’re finished, take some time to draw the creatures that he described. You can even draw the scene with the heavenly sapphire throne and glowing metal figure (Ezekiel 1:26-28). Have fun critiquing each other’s work. When you’re finished, ask:

• Is it possible to describe heavenly creatures or heaven with words?

• Why can’t words do God justice?

• What do these creatures say about the creativity of God? Can’t you just picture these creatures in a movie or comic book?

• These creatures are called cherubim. God specially made them for a purpose. Think about other things that God made that might look weird but have a special purpose. What about ears? star-nosed moles?

When you’ve finished talking, read more about this scene in Ezekiel 10. Make any additions or changes to your illustrations that you want to. Hang the final products on the refrigerator for a week to remind your family of God’s power and creativity.

Extra Mile

God’s people knew the truth, but they turned their back on it and followed their own ways. But even as God judges his people, he looks to their redemption (see Ezekiel 36:22-36). God is a God of mercy and healing. For a personal, modern example of God’s grace, watch Home Run Derby King Josh Hamilton: From Addiction to Salvation on YouTube. (Some of the video footage has been removed.)

Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton accepted Christ at 18, and shortly after he was picked No. 1 in the Major League Baseball draft. In the minor leagues, he got addicted to drugs and nearly lost everything: Money, fame, a beautiful wife. After years of drug abuse, Josh rededicated life to God, and God gave it all back. At the 2008 All Star Game, Josh hit a record-breaking 28 home runs in one round of the home run derby.

Watch Josh’s story and then talk as a family about the similarities between his story and what happened to God’s people.

• What was Josh’s idol?

•How did God give everything back to Josh?

• What does this say about God’s character?


The Story Chapter 18

Chapter 18: God Watches Over Daniel / Daniel in Exile

Timeless Truth: The Lord’s plans don’t harm, but bring hope and success.

Bible Basis: Daniel 6:1-23; Jeremiah 30:1-3, 8, 10-11, 31:23-25, 29:10-14

Key Verse: “[Daniel] went to his room three times a day to pray. He got down on his knees and gave thanks to his God,” (Daniel 6:10).

Parent Tips:

Use the Table Talk questions to start a discussion around the dinner table during the week. The Living Faith activity encourages you to have a family sleepover. The Extra Mile looks at a video about God’s protection through his angels.

Get the Point:

Preschool: Daniel is loyal to God and God protects him. I can be loyal to God.

Elementary: Daniel is loyal to God and God protects him. I can be loyal to God.

Middle School: God’s loving protection and godly relationships carry me through trying times.

High School: God’s loving protection and godly relationships carry me through trying times.

Table Talk


• Daniel followed God’s rules, instead of the king’s, and got in trouble. Have you ever got in trouble for doing the right thing? If so, what happened?

• Daniel prayed even though he knew it could cost him his life. What are some things you pray about?

• Daniel’s punishment for praying to God was to be thrown into the lions’ den. Everybody take turns doing their best lion’s roar (even parents). Who protected Daniel from the lions?

• King Darius knew Daniel served God. The king even said, “You always serve your God faithfully. So may he save you” (Daniel 6:16). Daniel showed King Darius true faith in God with his actions (by praying and trusting him for protection) without saying a word. What are some actions you can take to show others you serve the one true God?

Note: Young readers will enjoy hearing Daniel’s story in the Jesus Storybook Bible on page 152.

Middle/High School

• Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah (or Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego) were taken from Judah and brought to Babylon. But they refused to give up God’s rules and follow new customs. Have you ever been in a situation where you felt you had to abandon God’s standards to fit in?

• Daniel and his friends ate vegetables and drank water, instead of eating the king’s food. What happened?

• How else did Daniel and his friends stand out?

• Do you think Daniel was a goody-two-shoes?

• Is always doing things God’s way a bad thing? If not, why is it so hard to make the decision to always follow God?

• How was Daniel able to make the decision to always follow God?

Living Faith

Daniel was forced to have a sleepover with some hairy, scary friends. Follow his example—sort of—by planning a family sleepover. You can do it in your bedroom, or in a living or family room. Pick either a Friday or Saturday night and plan ahead to make it fun. At the beginning you can pray, “God you protected Daniel during his sleepover with the lions, and we know you’ll be with us tonight, too. Amen.” Try these ideas or make up some of your own to create some family memories.

• Play “Simon Says.”

• Play one of your kids’ favorite board games.

• Put together a puzzle.

• Rent a kids’ video and make popcorn.

• Have everybody write down a tongue twister (or make one up). Fold up each paper and put it in a hat. Take turns drawing one and trying to say the tongue twister five times fast.

• Play charades. Have family members act out the title to a favorite song, movie or TV show.

• Hide the thimble. Take turns hiding a thimble (or other small object) in the room with nobody looking. As everybody searches, the “hider” gives clues by saying, “You’re getting warmer” (if a person is close to finding it) or “You’re getting colder” (if a person is going the wrong direction).

• Share characteristics of each person that you appreciate.

• Make a yummy dessert or snack as a family.

Go to bed a little later than normal (for younger kids); then wake up in the morning, cook breakfast and clean up as a family.

Extra Mile

God’s protecting angels show up a couple of times during this chapter of The Story. First, when Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are thrown into the fiery furnace, King Nebuchadnezzar sees four people in the flames—instead of three. He exclaims, “The fourth man looks like a son of the gods” (Daniel 3:25). Then when Daniel is thrown into the lions’ den, he tells King Darius, “My God sent his angel. And his angel shut the mouths of the lions (Daniel 6:21).

• Do you think God sends his protecting angels today?

Watch the 1:30 video, “Who are our guardian angels?” on

Angels are specially created beings by God. They serve the wishes of their heavenly father. Look at these other verses about angels: Exodus 14:19-20 (with Moses and Israelites fleeing Egypt); Judges 6:12-22 (with Gideon); Matthew 2:13-20 (with Joseph, to help protect the baby Jesus). God’s angels are mentioned throughout the Bible!


The Story Chapter 14 - Week Beginning 20 February 2023

Chapter 14: A Kingdom Torn in Two

Timeless Truth: God detests idol worshippers.

Bible Basis: 1 Kings 12:1–33; 14:22–23, 26–28; 15:11–24, 16:29-33

Key Verse: “Asa did what was right in the eyes of the LORD” (1 Kings 15:11).

Parent Tips:

Use the Table Talk questions to start a discussion around the dinner table during the week. The Living Faith activity encourages your family to think seriously about modern-day idols. The Extra Mile takes your family to a song that talks about God and explains why only he is worthy of worship.

Get the Point:

Preschool: God uses bad things to teach his people. I can learn from mistakes.

Elementary: God uses bad things to teach his people. I can learn from mistakes.

Middle School: When you follow the lie that God can’t give you what you need, it’s easy to turn to idols.

High School: Idol worship isn’t limited to golden cows; many things can pull your attention away from God.

Table Talk


- The people of Judah started fighting against Israel and decided to start their own country. Have you ever had two of your friends fight and decide not to be friends anymore?

- What happened because of this fight?

- Was there a way your friends could’ve settled their differences better?

- In the midst of all these bad kings in Israel and Judah, Asa became king of Judah and “did what was right in the eyes of the Lord” (1 Kings 15:11). Do you think it was hard for him to do good things when everybody around him was making bad choices?

- Tell about a time when others were making poor choices and you decided to follow God. Was it hard? How did it make you feel?

Middle/High School

- Proverbs 13:20 says, “Anyone who walks with wise people grows wise. But a companion of foolish people suffers harm.” Rehoboam’s dad, Solomon, wrote those words. But Rehoboam must’ve been spacing out when Solomon said them, because instead of listening to the counsel of wise elders, Rehoboam listened to his friends when it came to the treatment of the people of Judah. His friends encouraged Rehoboam to tell Jeroboam that bigger whips would be used to beat them. (That’s not a good way to make friends.) Jeroboam went back and split off a new country, Judah, where he was king. What do you think was Rehoboam’s biggest mistake?

- Could Judah splitting from Israel been prevented?

- Have you ever listened to your friends instead of your parents? (Note: Parents you can share a story here, too, from your growing up years.)

- Do you think Solomon’s advice in Proverbs 13:20 is true?

Living Faith

You don’t run into a lot of golden cow worshipers at church these days. But the problem of idols still plagues God followers. Anything that comes before God in your life could be an idol, especially if you look to that thing for comfort or satisfaction. Have all family members fill out the chart to see how they spend their time. At the end, answer some questions to see if any idols have crept into your daily life.

On average how much time each day do you spend doing these things?

Activity Time Spent?

- Watching TV

- Playing Video Games

- Texting/ talking on the phone

- Reading Bible and praying

- Shopping

- Being on the Computer

None of the activities are in and of themselves sinful; however, if they consume all your time and pull you away from God, they could become an idol. In today’s society money, fame, possessions, career advancement, popularity and other things rule people’s lives. Ask:

- What area in your life do you think has the greatest possibility of becoming an idol?

- How can you prevent that from happening?

- What changes can you make in your schedule to show God that he’s first in your life?

Extra Mile

Only the one true God is worthy of our worship. King Solomon opened the door to idol worship, and then Israel and Judah forsook the Lord to follow false gods.

Watch the “I will worship You – Matthew Ward.” Have a pencil and paper ready. Write down all of the characteristics of God mentioned in the song. “My God is faithful, truthful...”

- Think about the things people worship today (fame, money, etc.). Can any of those things boast the same characteristics that God possesses?

- One of the lines says, “I will worship you for the things you’ve done in me.” Have family members share something the Lord has done in them.

- Deuteronomy 6:13 says, “Worship the Lord your God. He is the only one you should serve.” Write that verse on an index card and stick it on the refrigerator. Encourage everybody in your family to memorize it this week. Plan something fun as a family if everybody accomplishes this goal.


Are You Ready for Lent?

​Lent begins February 22nd. What are you giving up (or taking on) this year?

could you go beyond simply giving up chocolate or coffee and instead, give up something coming between you and God - or take up a spiritual practice to bring you closer to him?

Here are some resources to help you and your family connect in deeper discipleship this Lent:

- Lent 2023 Resources from the Qld Synod​

- Uniting World Lent Event

- ​15 Ideas to Observe Lent (beyond giving up chocolate)​

- ​Devotional for Ash Wednesday​

- ​Prepare Your Heart for Easter (40-day Lenten Devotional)​

- ​How Can 40 Days Renew and Refocus Your Heart?​


The Story Chapter 13 - Week Beginning 13 February 2023

Chapter 13: The King Who Had It All

Timeless Truth: God’s faithful love continues forever.

Bible Basis: 1 Kings 3:1-15, 4:29-30, Proverbs 3:1-18, 2 Chronicles 6:12-7:3, 2 Chronicles 9:1-8, 1 Kings 11:9-13

Key Verse: “Don’t be wise in your own eyes. Have respect for the LORD” (Proverbs 3:7).

Parent Tips:

Use the Table Talk questions to start a discussion around the dinner table during the week. The Living Faith activity will give your family a glimpse of what it was like when God’s presence filled the temple. The Extra Mile takes your family on a digital video tour of Solomon’s temple. Plus, you can get to know Proverbs.

Get the Point:

Preschool: God made Solomon a wise leader. God can make me wise, too.

Elementary: God made Solomon a wise leader. God can make me wise, too.

Middle School: Man’s wisdom—even Solomon’s—is limited. God’s love endures forever.

High School: Solomon was the wisest man alive, but he failed to follow his own godly teaching and that led to his downfall.

Table Talk


- God appeared to Solomon in a dream and offered to give him anything he asked for. If God gave you the same offer, what would you ask for?

- Solomon asked for wisdom, so he could be a good king. Do you think that was a good request?

- God liked Solomon’s answer so much that he gave him wisdom, fame and money. What’s the best reward you’ve received for a good answer?

- If you could ask your parents to give you one thing, what would it be?

Middle/High School

- Solomon’s wisdom is legendary. Many of his saying can be found in Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. He begins Proverbs by writing, “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7). What does that mean to you?

- Would your teachers and friends agree that the “fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge”?

- What would modern-day science say about that statement?

- Is Solomon’s wisdom out of date or does it still apply today? Why?

Living Faith

This activity requires a 20-ounce plastic bottle, warm water, vinegar and baking soda. It’s best to complete this activity outside or in a sink. As you watch the baking soda and vinegar react and fizz out of the bottle, think about what it would’ve been like to watch God’s presence come down and fill the temple.

Start by putting about two tablespoons of baking soda in the bottom of the bottle. Quickly add a ½ cup of vinegar and ¼ cup of warm water. Step back and watch the bottle fill with foam that bursts out of the top.

When Solomon prayed for the temple, God’s presence came down. Second Chronicles 7:2 says, “the priests couldn’t enter the temple of the Lord. His glory filled it.” Can you imagine God’s tangible presence filling a building? It was so powerful that people who witnessed it, dropped to their knees and worshiped God.

For a bonus activity after discussing God’s powerful presence at his temple, get a plastic zipper bag to demonstrate that God’s glory can’t be contained. Be careful as the bag will explode and may create a mess.

This time put a couple of tablespoons of baking soda in a paper towel and fold it up. Pour a ½ cup of vinegar and a ¼ cup of water into the plastic zipper bag. Drop in the paper towel and quickly zip the bag closed. Give a quick shake to start the reaction, then put the plastic bag on the ground and step away. The bag should puff up and pop with a loud bang.

Extra Mile

Idea #1:

Money wasn’t an issue for Solomon. God blessed him with such vast riches that the Bible says silver had little value in Solomon’s kingdom and that the king drank out of a gold goblet. So when Solomon built God’s temple, he spared no expense.

Even though Solomon had 180,000 workers and 4,000 supervisors on the project, the temple took seven years to complete. It was one of the most majestic structures of the day. Nearly 500 years after the Israelites left Egypt, God’s temple was complete.

Take a digital video tour of the temple by watching this video.” Read 1 Kings 6 as you watch.

- Did anything stand out to you in the video?

- Is there any part of the description of the temple that seems especially majestic?

- How does Solomon’s temple compare to your church?

- Does God’s presence still fill buildings today? (Look at Matthew 18:20 for an answer.)

Idea #2:

Read the Proverb that mirrors today’s date. (So if it’s the 10th, read Proverbs 10.) After you’re finished, have each family member discuss her favorite verse from what was just read. Encourage each person to memorize one verse from Proverbs. Try this for one day or do it all week!


The Story Chapter 12 - Week Beginning 6 February 2023

Chapter 12: A King Makes Bad Choices / The Trials of a King

Timeless Truth: God is just . . . and forgiving.

Bible Basis: Psalm 51:1-12 5, 1 Chronicles 29:1-20, Psalm 23

Key Verse: “Wash away all of the evil things I've done. Make me pure from my sin” (Psalm 51:2).

The Story Chapter 12

Parent Tips:

Use the Table Talk questions to start a discussion around the dinner table during the week. The Living Faith activity will help your family understand the problem with sin (as you eat cookies). The Extra Mile exposes your family to two worship songs based on Psalm 51 and encourages you to get to know the Psalms.

Get the Point:

Preschool: God forgave David's sins. God forgives me when I'm sorry for doing wrong things.

Elementary: God forgave David's sins. God forgives me when I'm sorry for doing wrong things.

Middle School: David made huge mistakes. But when he asked God for forgiveness, David did it from the deepest part of his soul. God forgave David and used him in huge ways.

High School: David lived to the extreme. He messed up extremely bad, but also had a heart extremely committed to God. God loved and blessed David.

Table Talk:


- King David was called a man after God’s heart, but made a huge mistake and tried to cover it up. Is hiding sins ever a good idea? Why?

- The prophet Nathan came to let David know that God knew about David’s sin. David was totally embarrassed and felt awful. Have you ever sinned and tried to hide it? What happened? (As a parent, if you have a story to tell about your childhood, please share it here.)

- Talk about what it feels like when you’re trying to hide something bad that you’ve done. How does it make you feel?

- What wrong actions do you battle with the most? (Stealing, lying, anger.)

- What’s the best thing to do when you mess up?

Middle/High School

- God forgave David, but there were still consequences for his sin as David and Bathsheba’s first son died. Can you think of any consequences you’ve faced after doing something bad?

- Later, David’s son Absalom rebelled against him. Absalom was very proud of his hair, which ended up getting caught in a tree and led to his death (Can anyone say, “Pride comes before getting your hair stuck in a tree”?) Why is pride such a big deal to God?

- Are there any areas of pride that you need to look at in your life?

- Talk about some of David’s greatest accomplishments and mess-ups. What can you learn from his life?

Living Faith

You’ll need waxed paper, a tube of frosting, a rolling pin and sugar cookie dough for this activity. The slice-and-bake dough from the store will work or you can make dough the night before and have it chilling in the refrigerator.

When you’re ready, gather your family in the kitchen and ask: “Have you ever done something and then said, ‘I wish I could take that back’? David certainly did. Sometimes he did bonehead things and wished he could turn back time.”

Put out the waxed paper, tube of frosting and rolling pin. Ask for a volunteer. Have that family member try to get all the frosting out of the tube and onto the waxed paper. He can squeeze it, crush it and use the rolling pin on it. When he’s finished, say, “OK, now get all the frosting back in the tube.”

Just like it’s impossible to reverse time and take back sin, it’s impossible to get the frosting back in the tube. Talk about the importance of thinking before you act and trying to always follow God’s will and teaching with your words and actions. As you talk, take out the cookie dough. Roll and bake cookies, using the frosting to decorate them. Point out that God can use the mistakes in our life to make something sweet. God will always forgive when we honestly ask him for forgiveness. He wants us to serve him with our whole heart.

Extra Mile

Idea #1:

David did everything with gusto. He served God with passion, and when he messed up—he did it big time! After one especially painful mistake, David poured out his heart to God in Psalm 51.

Watch these two videos that feature songs based on Psalm 51.

“Create in Me a Clean Heart” by Keith Green

“Create in Me a Clean Heart” by Donnie McClurkin

- Are any specific lyrics especially meaningful to you?

- Have you ever journaled or written a poem about a time you’ve messed up? If it’s appropriate, share it with the family.

- How are these songs different?

Each person’s relationship with God is unique, because he knows our hearts. He knows what will work best to sculpt us to be more like him.

Idea #2:

Get to know the Psalms better by reading the one that corresponds to today’s date. Go the extra mile by reading all the Psalms that are multiples of the date (example: 17, 34, 51, 68, 85, 102, 119 (watch out for this one!) and 136. Do this for an entire week as a family.